Matthew Westerman, the senior Goldman Sachs investment banker, is leaving the firm to join HSBC as part of a restructured global banking management team.
HSBC is re-merging its global banking and capital financing units – split by the bank a couple of years ago. Westerman will join as co-head of the renamed global banking division alongside Robin Phillips, who has held the position of head of global banking since the split. The management of the global markets division, previously the third arm of HSBC’s global banking and markets group, remains unchanged.
The rejig will see Spencer Lake, previously global head of capital financing, assume a vice-chairman role across the global banking and markets division.
The announcement was made by Samir Assaf, HSBC’s CEO of global banking and markets, earlier today, in a memo seen by Euromoney.
Westerman has long had ties to his new firm, especially given Goldman’s role as corporate broker to HSBC, and is known to be close to HSBC’s CEO Stuart Gulliver.
Westerman relocated to London just under a year ago, leaving his Hong Kong based position as head of investment banking in Asia to take up a role as chairman of Goldman’s EMEA investment banking business. Euromoney understands that part of his role while in London was to help HSBC in its discussions over the potential relocation to Hong Kong of its corporate headquarters.
Most inside HSBC see the era of the capital financing division as having successfully brought all of the bank’s previously diverse primary financing capabilities under one roof, creating a clear product offering between the global investment bank and the commercial bank in particular. The new move aims to bring client coverage into line with that simplified product structure.
Given the success of the capital financing group, it will surprise some that Lake appears to have lost out to Phillips in the internal battle to be co-head of the expanded division. Lake will now report directly to Assaf and be responsible for a number of key client relationships, as well strategic initiatives around areas such as sustainable financing and RMB globalization, although HSBC insiders speculate he might look for a senior management role elsewhere.
Hiring Westerman is clearly a coup for HSBC. Assaf says: “I’m delighted that Matthew is joining HSBC. His hire reflects the confidence that people have in our GBM strategy and potential.”
Longer term, Westerman will be regarded as the prime long-term candidate to replace Assaf as CEO of GBM, a role he has held since 2011.